Up until earlier this week, there were only bits and pieces of news surrounding James Bond in the video game world.
True, IO Interactive is hard at work on a new Bond game, but we’ve heard very little about it. And Stern Pinball has a new James Bond pinball in the works, likely revolving around the classic Sean Connery version. But, again, very little news about it.
But then Tuesday hit. And along came Goldeneye 007.
In case you’ve forgotten about the game, Goldeneye 007 originally debuted on the Nintendo 64 in 1997, ushering in a generation of first-person shooting console titles that would soon etch their way into legendary status. The game is still considered an N64 classic, but, for years, it remained untouched, save for Activision’s attempt to revitalize the franchise several years prior
with Goldeneye Reloaded.
But all that has changed with the news that the game will arrive on Nintendo Switch Online and Xbox consoles sometime this year. The Switch version will be part of the Expansion Pack and feature online play; while the Xbox version will be split-screen supported and also have 4K resolution and a bumped up frame rate.
That sounds a bit odd, considering the Xbox would really benefit from online play. That said, it was likely a deal between Nintendo, Rare, MGM Studios and Microsoft to get the game on both consoles and have players benefit from each version. And honestly, it’s still a win, and here’s why. Because the game will get some love again.
Not that it hasn’t been loved before, mind you. Goldeneye crafted a legacy that still lasts to this day, with people making movies and talking about the game in discussion groups. And for a while there, the community was riled up when Rare produced a version for Xbox 360 that was on the verge of release – only to be struck down by legal reasons. (Apparently the Xbox version coming out is possibly based around that port, though we’re still awaiting confirmation.)
However, now that it finally has an official release coming – and with MGM’s blessing, as well as the stars of the film and what-not – the game can finally re-earn its place in the first-person shooting fold. It can make a name for Nintendo Switch Online and make the service even that much more worthwhile (as if Wave Race 64 didn’t already do that); while it will also make for a killer addition to Xbox Game Pass and the previously released Rare Replay, which it will be a part of.
But most importantly, it’ll bring gamers back together again. After a couple of rough years due to the pandemic, it’s great to have a game where people can go at it in split-screen multiplayer, throwing down proximity mines like they’re going out of style. Even if they’re playing as Oddjob (grumble), there’s a great benefit here. Not to mention the fact that online play will be a nice feature for Switch owners. (And no one can accuse you of “screen peeking,” for that matter.)
So, yes, 25 years after its initial release, Goldeneye has a chance to shine brighter than it ever has, and once again create a wonderful legacy for fans of first-person shooting games. What’s more, it’ll do so without a mountain of microtransactions or the need for a, dare we say it, Battle Pass. It’ll be good old-fashioned fun. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
But please don’t pick Oddjob. Stop it.
By the way, if you’re curious, check out gameplay from the unreleased Xbox 360 game below.
It’ll likely be similar to what we see on new Xbox consoles. Maybe.
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